GP asthma review - just for the money!

I have been under the care of a professor in asthma medicine for over a year. In good times see him once every couple of months, in bad times (like the last 7 months!) can be almost weekly. I put in a request for repeat script to the GP to be told I had to visit the asthma nurse at the GPs for a review before I could have a repeat. I explained that I was under constant supervision of the prof plus the respiratory nurse specialists but they wouldn't provide the repeat. The only appointments were on. Friday between 09.30 and 12.30 - bit of a problem when you work. So I took some leave time and went. To be honest it was a waste of my time and hers. I asked the direct question as to why I had to see her when I was seeing the specialist team, and after the question being evaded several times I was told it was for funding purposes only. They couldn't and wouldn't change any medication but in order to "" tick the box"" and get the relevant payment had to see me. A massive waste of resource in a cash strapped NHS. Anyone else had the same problem?

8 Replies

  • That's interesting. Last year I was being pestered about going for my annual review with the asthma nurse (usually a complete waste of time since I rarely have to report any problems and if I had I would have been in to see a doctor anyway) but when I explained that I'd recently had my asthma reviewed by a consultant at the local hospital I was told I wouldn't need to go in.

  • Hi

    I have consultant level asthma care; repeated letters from the GP/practice nurse about going for an annual review. Last year the asthma nurse reduced my medication despite frequent exacerbations needing ED/steroids & nebs.

    I wasn't in a rush to go and so wrote back explaining that in view of what happened last year and since I'm very happy with my current asthma consultant I didn't feel I'd benefit from a nurse led annual review and that it would waste an appointment that could be used for someone else.

    No more reminders were received!

  • Exactly the same happens with my asthmatic son who is under a respiratory consultant. It makes me smile when we get the annual letter for a review with the 'asthma nurse' - I know more than she does :) I usually just write on the letter what is happening with him and we've never had any hassle.nnHaving said all that, I think it is an excellent service for asthmatics who are not under a consultant.

  • I can see why it is frustrating for you - although I must admit, I thought it was widely acknowledged that asthma reviews were financially incentivised. I've always been told that very frankly, and I have often said in the past that if me sitting there for ten minutes gets them a tick and a load of ££ then that is ok with me, they always go above and beyond to help me, and I have more than my fair share of doctors minutes (I've often had appts for well over 40mins) and so for *me* I don't mind, if they want me to go I will. But then thats very easy for me to say, I'm a student, I don't work, so I can quite easily fit in a ten minute asthma review, its different if you have to have a job. I'm also pretty sure they can't deny you meds based on your attendance at a review (especially if your cons wants you on certain meds), I've always been given a form with an opt out box in the past!

  • Good points Soph.n

  • If you're not under a consultant, just GP care they can and do refuse meds if you don't go for reviews.nnA long time ago I never used to bother with asthma reviews cos i was very well controlled. On one repeat request there was a bright orange sticker saying they wouldn't issue and more repeats until i'd been to see them.

  • I agree with Jinglfairy - this ties up with what I have experienced, although I have never got to the point of an orange sticker:-). nnAs someone who has had asthma for over fifty years and has controlled it successfully for the vast majority of my adult life, I have not found that these asthma reviews have contributed anything to the control of my condition. I have been told that my breathing in technique when using my inhaler was completely wrong - when it fact it was absolutely correct for an accuhaler, which is what I use, and I have also been told that I could do with putting on weight because the average weight for someone of my height was almost a stone more than I weighed (I resisted the temptation to point out that the word 'average' does mean that some people will weigh more and others less).nnI might be wrong here, but surely there is something wrong with a strap cashed NHS giving GP practices ££ to see people some of whom don't really need to be seen, particularly given the number of complaints concerning the difficulty of getting appointments. nnn

  • Maggie. Totally agree. Asthma for 40 years. Well controlled. Order meds as an when required.... I am a member of the thoracic society. And the royal college of surgeons!!! I am called in to discuss my asthma? Made to feel like a fool! Patronising. Government fuelled bullshit!!! If I feel I want a spare inhaler for work. Car. Then I want spare inhalers!! n

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